Saturday, January 15, 2011

so hold on tight and don't look back

"Second Life is a world; it is not a web page."

Prokovy said that, in one of the latest rant-answers on the SL blog. This attitude--that Second Life is not part and parcel of the internet--seems strangely prevalent on the grid these days.

Is Second Life a discrete world, a space, a singular environment? Absolutely. But it's also part of the net, formed of the net; witness the fact that when the internet is out, Second Life also can't be accessed. Unlike games like Minecraft, SL can't be played offline; the client is buffered by the web, by the net, the social connections only possible when the electronic ones are going, too.

Second Life is not a webpage; it's far more than that. But does Second Life exist without the web? No. It doesn't. And I'd go one farther and say that it can't--both in terms of code and culture. This myopic thinking that Second Life and the web are not linked...it really needs to die a well-deserved death, already.

In other news, massive flooding covered three-quarters of southern Queensland, Australia, in December 2010, and is still going on today.

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Over 200,000 people have been affected, in an area that's larger than Germany and France combined.

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Crops are drowning on the vine. Nine people are confirmed dead; more than seventy are missing, and Australian officials expect the death toll to double--at least.

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The biggest problem beyond just getting people and animals out is that so much of Queensland is flooded, including the airports. People can't fly out--airplanes packed with temporary shelter materials, food and medical supplies can't get in. Some of the work is being done with helicopters, but it's far from enough.

The Extend a Helping Hand charity, set up to fund recovery efforts by Sanura Sakai, now has a market in Second Life. For the next few days (until the 31st), you'll be able to get all sorts of items that will all go to helping flooded Queensland dry out. Vocal's one of the offerings; a cute bodysuit/shoes combo that comes in six colors for only L$100. Many of the offerings are between L$25 and L$100, because these merchants would rather more people support the cause than charge what they (reasonably) can in their stores.

Go to the event market to see Vocal, and to see all the other work on display. Miamai's turned out savagely pink and glittery silver party frocks; Rose River Saloon's made both party pumps and comfy boots, and the Rumor blog offers up a whole list of who's doing what. Go look.

The sheer scale of this is terrifying. This is Hurricane Katrina in spades. Queensland will be years recovering from this, if not decades. And considering Queensland's main industries are mining (which can't be done through waterlogged or flooded shafts), agriculture (the crops are dying, the cattle are floating away) and tourism (oh, yeah, let's go take a trip to the flood zone), they're going to be spending money they don't have just to keep their people alive.

All proceeds from Extend a Helping Hand events will go to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal. If you don't want to shop and help, please consider making a direct donation.

(All rights reserved to the Brisbane Times for images used in this entry. Copyright is to the photographers and the paper.)

4 comments:

Edward Pearse said...

Perhaps Prokovy is making a distinction that many people, myself included, make. While all webpages are on the internet, not all of the internet is the web.

does Second Life exist without the web? Yes. Very much so. While a great deal of information ABOUT SL is on the web, you can't access SL from the web. Like Warcraft, Half-life, or Team Fortess, Second Life is an MMO that exists beside the web, not within it.


The water from the Queensland floods has moved through New South Wales and has reached Western Victoria. That's roughly from half-way in Ontario, Canada all the way down to New Orleans. It's going to be a big cleanup.

Serenity Semple said...

I kinda agree with what Prokovy was trying to say - at least my interpretation of it. I think that he's trying to say (directed towards LL mostly) 'don't treat SL like some facebook based thing instead of a world/community within itself'. I definitely agree, I'd rather SL be filed with seperate things rather than trying to link it all together with facebook, plurk, twitter, etc. etc. I understand that those who use those networks?(I don't know if that's the proper word for those things or not really) should be able to follow like updates or something with LL company or releases - but I'd rather not have insta links in profiles for all that junk. I just hope the group thing is one of a few changes, that most residents want, that will be actually implemented in the future. Hopefully someone in LL is listening. XD

For the Queensland thing, I cannot believe how much I am NOT hearing at all on the news or papers (at least in this New England area I live in). I am blogging this on my own blog and wish them all the best of luck; especially since Sanu is a pretty good friend of mine. Thanks for spreading the word, Emi. <3

Emilly Orr said...

Edward,

Remember, they are pushing to 'open the gated community'--in short, there's already a web-based client that works (sorta, if complete fail is your goal), and they're investigating mobile options (which I think will show similar fail in due turn).

But I do agree with you--while you need a live connection to the net for any MMO--or even Minecraft!--you don't need a webpage open to be logged in. How does the saying go? Be in the world, but not of it? SL's in that hinterland space.

Also, damn, that's insane and huge. Over here, that would be the entire eastern seaboard under water. Of morbid amusement, parts of the local region are also flooding, and I can't help but contrast our "road's wet, drive with caution" with your "can't transport anything to these three thousand houses, but we're hoping to have power back in the next four days".

Emilly Orr said...

Sere,

Unfort, that's America, currently: Katrina got covered mostly because several newscasters lost their composure entirely and started ranting over the devastation on the air; other countries? Don't have a shot.

I'm just glad we're covering it at all--we barely mentioned Pakistan, when they went under water--and I meant to get to it sooner, but there was Drama.

I'm sheerly amazed at Sanu, honestly--she coordinated from scratch a kick-ass event tied to her real name in what at least felt like under a week--all while she lives in an affected area! DAMN, that's HUGE.

(And, getting finally to how you opened the paragraph--I agree with the statements on FacebookLife, in that no amount of shoving social media at us will make the bulk of us join anything new with thrilling glee--but I wholly disagree with the dripping sarcasm emanating from the words that started the rant out: "Great news about the groups! I'm always having to leave groups every day and go through the nuisance of rejoining them again, even my own groups for land and activities, because of the limitations. So this will really be a huge boon!" While I never left a group I had land rights in, while I needed those rights, I did end up leaving two groups I started, and thus couldn't get back--because I had an employer who demanded I join two, three, or in one case five employee groups! And some of that happened when we had a limit of fifteen groups, so things were harder to shuffle.)